The Celeb-Filled Brilliance That Was Coachella 2023 (According To Linux)
by LinuxApr 24, 2023
This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it-girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene-City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives us the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods our Instagram feeds. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously — she’s just a club kid after all).
Alas, the time of year has come for the globe’s obnoxiously ostentatious to board their private jets and head west to Indio, California. One glance at any flight-tracking website and makes it crystal clear that all routes lead to Coachella. But what is it that the elite are in search of at the headline-making music festival? Clout? Drugs? Or are they probing for something even more sinister — like... the music? Gasp!
Anthropologists brand human beings as genetically wired pack animals. If that’s the case, then the LA-Listers who max out our Instagram feeds (and Daddy’s credit cards) have undoubtedly found their drove — and Coachella their watering hole.
Last year I experienced Coachella for the first time. Coming with a New York State Of Mind and wanting to get the full picture, I tore through the fest from the perspective of all three classes: GA, VIP and Artist. This year, we’re saying to hell with all that social experiment gab by bypassing the pedestrian roleplay and only doing things at the highest level of cunt. Because if anyone should be the one to experience ‘Chella from the mountaintops of exclusivity and live to tell the story, it’s moi.
Who am I? My name is Linux, and I am the New York Downtown It-Girl. I host and attend the world’s hottest parties and write about it all for you, my drama-obsessed readers, to get an inside look at what’s really going on when the cameras cut off... and the NDAs come out!
Now hurry up, we gotta go. We’re about to miss my favorite artist — me!
Clothing: Jaded London and Rick Owens
Photo by Fraser Harrison
As a Certified Judgy-Wudgy with crippling self-esteem issues, there’s nothing that makes me feel better than everyone else like being better than everyone else. That’s why, when I signed up for Coachella coverage this year, my only request was that I had the top-tier wristband that only fame (and a connection to a major publication) could buy. Day 1 was finally here and I was ready to do drugs with every YouTuber that tells their teenage fans they’re sober. Friday is the day that everyone still pretends they’re at a social event, with decencies intact. As time goes on, however, social batteries dwindle, demons come out and psychosis ensues. (Stay tuned!)
When I go to Coachella, I never stay in Palm Springs. The traffic is such a nightmare! Instead, there are two gated communities across the street that I like to stay at since they’re walking distance from the grounds. The beginning of Friday’s lineup was relatively tame, with the first big gay spectacle of the weekend being MUNA at 4:50 PM. With my handy dandy artist wristband, my famous friends and I were able to enter the festival from an extra-exclusive (and extra-speedy) private entrance. From there, we were plopped right into what is known as the Artist Village. This is basically where the industry peeps and the Calabasas-adjacent hang out. This year, however, Coachella did something super sneaky and removed the bars from this area, forcing all the it-people to go out into the wild and be seen with the lower-level entities if they wanted even a drop of alcohol.
Security was a bit distracted while patting down Amber Rose and I managed to sneak my roadie passed them. I could skip the visit to the bar... for now. I pre-gamed way too hard for Day 1, so most of MUNA is a blur. Apparently, she dedicated an entire song to all the trans girls in the world and I cried, but I think I was actually crying because some muscle gay spilled my drink all over my outfit. Once MUNA’s set was finished, I had two options: SG Lewis or Blink-182, who were playing at the same time but on completely opposite sides of Coachella. I made the mistake of choosing Blink... which was a total shit show. (I think their fans like it that way.) After accidentally finding ourselves in a mosh pit of 50+-year-olds, my friend Aquaria and I made a break for it and decided the safest place for us was the empty stage across the field where Blondie was about to perform.
If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I love a legend. Fifteen minutes before Blondie started I stopped by the Port-a-Potty for an energy boost; I wanted to feel like Debbie Harry did in the ‘80s. Two minutes into Blondie’s first song, a grim reality began to set in: I’d thought I was heading up, but the world around me began melting and turning into an episode of a Cartoon Network show, making it all too obvious that I had made a Rookie Mistake and mixed up my supplies. It was only a matter of time before Debbie Harry turned into Debby Hairy... and the rest was history. From then on all I could do was hold onto the rafters of the front of the stage and enjoy the ride — before the ride enjoyed me!
Finally coming back to earth just in time for Blondie’s big finale with Chic co-founder and hits producer Nile Rodgers, I got to squeeze in one last dance with what would become probably the most historic moment of the entire weekend. But I couldn’t depend on just that alone, and during Blondie’s set the sun had set, too. It was time for my friend and I to head onward to our next great adventure of the evening.
Before Bad Bunny started on the main stage, I wanted to squeeze in some good old-fashioned influencer-watching over at the VIP bar. While in line for a fifth tequila soda, I spotted David Dobrik and his entourage of 20-something Instagram models. David’s a lot shorter in person. It was hot... twink vibes! Then, while kikiing with Drag Race’s Sugar and Spice, I found myself in a dream blunt rotation with Laura Lee, Manny MUA and Patrick Starrr. While inhaling the California-grade sativa, from the corner of my eye I spotted a wild Tana Mongeau skip an entire line of people in order to grab herself a cocktail. I heard her say to her friend, “What are they gonna do, kick me out?” It was then that I realized that Coachella was Tana’s Battle Hymn. Respect to the queen!
My LA pop star friend Gia Woods overheard me saying I wanted to get up close to see Bad Bunny. She then grabbed my hand and offered to push our way up past hundreds of fans to the front row of the main stage. We left behind all the YouTubers and scooted up to the very front just in time for Bad Bunny to start. Bad Bunny speaking in all Spanish — always so hot. He shot up a shit-ton of lasers and Puerto Rican flags and partied with the crowd all night long. The entire set lasted more than two hours and was the perfect way to close out the first day of our Coachella weekend. At 1 AM, I walked home in my giant boots, ready to ice my feet and chug water in preparation for two more days in the desert.
Photo courtesy of BFA
After blacking out something crazy, Saturday morning finally greeted me. Normally, being so close to the ground,s I would never go 30 minutes north to Palm Springs, but my friend (and the funniest gay on TikTok) Benito Skinner was hosting a brunch with H&M. I wasn’t feeling the best, but I did have a long day ahead of me. The only way I’ve learned to not get crumpled up by the hangover monster is to keep chugging along and distract myself with glamour.
Half an hour and two liquid IVs later, I had made it to The Sands, a Palm Springs resort and spa where all the stars were apparently staying. There, I enjoyed a fab brunch next to Coachella icons like Emma Roberts and Irina Shayk. (All in H&M looking perfect I might add!) Over glasses of wine, I chatted with Benito on all things Coachella. This year, his fashion vibe was casual-chic. Instead of going for the typical over-the-top ‘Chella look, he worked with H&M to bring together looks that were classic, light and modern. We both chatted about how we were extra excited for Charli XCX’s set on the main stage later that day. After nearly an hour of enjoying the oasis that H&M had provided for us all, a quick glance at the time reminded me I had to hop back into the rental car and speed on down to the festival grounds. I left with bags and bags of H&M clothes that I couldn’t not buy... they were just so cute!
Merely an hour later, I was once again running through the lawns of Coachella, rushing to ensure I wouldn’t miss the original American Girl Doll: Ethel Cain.
Photo by Slyler Barberio
Seeing your favorite artists perform at Coachella is just as big a deal for you as it is for them. Ethel Cain popping her Coachella cherry was no exception. Going from growing up and learning to sing in the Baptist church to being a major player in the Coachella circuit is no small feat, especially as a trans woman in a world where so many want to see us fail. It was here that I regretted not wearing waterproof mascara, as the tears of joy for Ethel’s journey streamed down my face.
Little did I know, those tears would soon turn to vomit. Only a short while and a tiny sprint later, I found myself at the main stage just in time for Charli XCX. It was during “Vroom Vroom” that my E pill seemed to hit all at once, and I had no other choice but to puke my entire H&M brunch up in the nearest trash can. What was embarrassing to some was “mothering” to Charli XCX fans, as they all screamed “YASSS” to me while I spilled my guts to Charli’s “Yuck.” Charli’s manager gave me gum and water, allowing me to enjoy the rest of her set while she brought out Troye Sivan and blasted underground pop hits.
After Charli, I wouldn’t have to run far, as Rosalía was performing on the same stage. Over the span of an hour, the pop star commanded all of Coachella as she tore through her discography with banging choreography to match. A standout of her set was her acoustic rendition of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” as well as a fiery onstage moment with her mans Rauw Alejandro. Rosalia’s performances at both Coachella weekends this year was without a doubt a favorite among many.
Day two of Gaychella ended with BLACKPINK’s set, which went over an hour and a half and was jam-packed with hairography. Seriously though, who does their hair? I have to ask them something...
Day 3. How did we get here so fast? My feet numb, my skin bright red, I was now officially Coachella Victim #1. The pre-game was a blur, my shoes all destroyed, I just needed to get through this last day and out of Indio in one piece.
On our final walk into the grounds, I saw two guys running full speed to the security checkpoint. “Nothing could ever be so important that I’d need to run like that!” I said to my friends. They all agreed. Fifteen minutes later, as I approached the Rae Sremmurd stage, my jaw hit the lawn. The two mystery sprinters, now on stage, were Rae Sremmurd themselves, and they were only running because they had a Coachella show to do. “Okay,” I said, “I guess that is something important enough that I would run for!”
From the artist section of Rae Sremmurd’s show, it became evident that I was in the belly of the A-List beast. To my left was Justin Bieber, dancing his ass off to “Black Beatles.” To my right were Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny, pretending to like each other. Directly behind me was Tyler, the Creator acting like he’s not in love with me.
After Srem finished, my friends and I had a few hours of freedom until the final headliner of the weekend, Frank Ocean. Let it be known: this is not a place for discourse. If you want me to have an opinion on how Frank Ocean deliberately tried to ruin everyone’s Day 3 of Coachella, you won’t find it here. There’s plenty of that on every other part of the internet. Plus, Frank Ocean’s time on stage wasn’t even able to piss me off, as I was too busy having fun elsewhere.
While my friend and I were trying to find the bathroom, a group of security guards accidentally shoved us into the American Express lounge overlooking the entire show. Suddenly, we were surrounded by teenagers with much higher net worths than us and tables with four-foot-tall bottles of 1942. While we drank the booze from descendents of European royalty, I overheard lines like “Is the jet stopping in Malibu too?” and “Diplo said we just can go to his house.” All good things must come to an end, however, and it was only a matter of time before Frank Ocean walked off stage and the crowd went boo.
Then, for the third and final time, I found myself on a long migration back to my houseshare. Dead phone in one hand, obscure street meat in the other, my friends and I floated to our beds, knowing the marathon that is Coachella had officially come to an end, our biological clocks resetting until next year.